Final Yahoo! boxscore
Good grief! The Warriors were not as sad as Charlie Brown this winter!
Stephen Jackson is Santa Claus.
The Warriors delivered a win over a legitimate super star and his less than legitimate company. After leading by 29 points at one point of the third quarter, the Warriors settled with a 105-96 win over the Cavaliers in Cleveland for that matter! Captain Jack paced the Warriors with 29 points, delivering as crazy of a performance as Oscar nominated and winner Johnny Depp as Captain Jack. From the first play of the game, Jack swished a turn around 21 footer with a dude's hand in his face. From that moment on, you could have thrown the Mon-stars at him and he still couldn't have been stopped. Of course Jax always has some questionable shot selection; you think it was his last day EVER on the basketball courts with the way he was/is shooting. But when he was at hot as he was and even the way he was distributing, it's hard to keep it out of his hands.
With no one else able to stop Captain Jack, the Cavs relied on Big Z, who had similar results
Baron Davis got back on track with a MVP type performance, netting 27 points, 10 assists, and 5 boards. Harrington came out of his mini-slump of late hitting 6-9 shots for 16 points while also grabbing 9 rebounds; Monta Ellis did his usual thing, steadily scoring in the high teens (19 points). Definitely some nice holiday treats that are more settling than that questionable egg nog in lactose intolerant tummies like mine. As advertised, the Cleveland Cavaliers' defense was porous and the soft spot was evident in Daniel "Boobie" Gibson, which several Warriors took their turn exploiting in the post or off the dribble. The Warriors definitely can "make it rain" and they did (but not in the Pacman Jones kind of way).
Captain Jack deploys Nellie's new sandwiching defense technique: a 'booty bump' from behind to cramp James' game as Pietrus stabilizes the front.
The Warriors neutralized King James though he still erupted for 25 points, 5 boards, and 8 assists. It wasn't until the 4th quarter that he finally got them back into the game though by then it was too late. Captain Jack and Biedrins managed to collapse and cause enough disruption that James couldn't finish at the hoop. And lucky for us, the former Warriors Larry Hughes (1-9 shooting) and Donyell Marshall (out) had little to no impact on their former employers. It was a little sad to see Hughes getting the Mike Dunleavy Jr. treatment anytime he missed a shot and he was missing a lot of them at point blank range.
Can someone explain to me why the Warriors resort to 1 on 1 play for the whole 4th quarter? In what seemed like 3 quarters of great shooting, semi-crisp passing, and little charge calls (thank you Monta!), everything seemed to halt with the sizable lead heading. While Boobie and James shot them back within 15, the Warriors continually relied on 1-4 offense sets where Jax and Baron cleared a side to hurl a fadeaway jumper or a forced drive. Perhaps the Captain Jack and Baron just had the hot hand. Or perhaps it was to chew up as much time as possible with over 12 minute left in the game? Or maybe Nellie didn't want to run up the score to be fair to the opposing team. But seriously, how many times have we seen the Warriors (practically) lose games running these tactics? Why not dominate folks and save your fans some stress? If you're gonna leave your 1st stringers in with their soreness and injuries, why leave them in to 'babysit' the lead rather than being 'cold blooded'? Might as well put in the 2nd team who can't be that much of an offensive or defensive drop off as what looks to be the NBA equivalent to running plays and cover 2 defenses. Screw "class," lets blow teams out like the the New England Patriots. We're already despised for our unorthodox "professional" game play and often misquoted as far as media coverage goes, why not embrace, embody, and run with it?
Pietrus: You take it! Pavlovic: No you!
The two Ps offer each other a christmas gift: the game ball.
Anyway, I jest. The Warriors ended their road trip with a winning record, which is unheard of. If folks heard from Jim Barnett from the broadcast, it took them until April to get their 9th road win of the season. It's nice to see Monta Ellis making some better decisions on the court and for once he didn't have a charge in the game! Rather than barreling at people like a running back, he showed some nice control with some pull up floaters. I'm surprised too that AZ didn't get much burn either (not that anyone else off the bench really got much burn either), nor did Barnes. At any rate, lets hope they don't let another subpar team take them out. If the patterns hold true, the Warriors will lose to Minnesota with some pretty poor shooting to explain it. If we can wish for one MORE thing for Christmas, let it be consistency! If that's too much to ask, lets make it a New Years resolution! Well, I think Al Harrington says it best with this statement after the last game against the team's cellar dwellers:
"Everybody had something to say," Harrington said. "For us to be the team we want to be, we can't lose these games. No disrespect to them, but they're the worst team in the league. We feel that we're one of the top 10 teams in the league."
Happy Holidays from the GSoM crew!
Baron Davis deserves props for his showing last night. When he goes, the writers are saying "that go" about the Warriors. In addition to the aforementioned stats, he made all his free throws and snagged 4 steals to boot.
Photos by David Liam Kyle/NBAE via Getty Images and Tony Dejak of AP Photo.